The largest city in Minnesota is the starting point for many of our Upper Mississippi river cruises and the perfect place for a pre-cruise stay. If you find yourself exploring the city limits, here are a few things that should definitely be on your to-do list.
Shop, Sip And Snack Your Way Down Nicollet Mall
At the heart of the city lies a street with all your shopping and dining needs. The Nicollet Mall stretches for 12 blocks and offers stores such as GAP, Macy’s and Banana Republic, along with a whole host of restaurants like the Dakota Jazz Club and the News Room.
Construction is beginning to take place to make this part of town an even better hub for residents and tourists. The plan is to prioritise things for pedestrians, as well as ensuring that the general design and services offered are environmentally friendly. Getting around the area is made easy thanks to the free metro bus that runs up and down the mall and the Minneapolis Skyway can help you explore the second level.
Keep It Natural
As well as the mighty Mississippi River, Minneapolis has plenty of other areas where nature takes centre stage. One of the nicknames given to this beautiful place is ‘The City of Lakes’ and it’s easy to see why once you start to explore the different areas. In the west of the city, you will find the Chain of Lakes, which consists of many different patches of water linked together to form a system that can be navigated almost entirely. Romantic walks can be taken along the banks, but you can also make your way through the chain via kayak, windsurfer, canoe and almost any other waterborne means you can imagine
For a different, but equally fantastic, natural experience, you can head to Minnehaha Park on the outskirts of the city. The creek that flows through here links the Mississippi to the Chain of Lakes, creating a peaceful place that is perfect for a picnic in the sun. You can also admire the beautiful Minnehaha Falls and the various statues within the park.
Be A Culture Vulture
With a great range of museums and art centres, Minneapolis has an interesting cultural heart. You could choose to visit the Children’s Museum or the Science Museum, but many visitors head straight for Mill City. This old mill has been turned into a living museum that shows how flour was made here in the past. Tour the building floor by floor and watch how intricate equipment helped the mill to produce enough flour every day to make 12 million loaves of bread.
If art is more your thing then be sure to visit the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and the adjacent Walker Art Centre. Indoors, you will find many contemporary art works, whilst a walk around the gardens will open your eyes to a number of unique installations. Currently, the area is going through a giant renovation, with the park closing in the summer of 2016 to be reopened a year later. However, there is still time to see the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry before the refurbishments take place.
There is so much to see and do in Minneapolis and a pre-cruise stay will enable you to do a lot more with your time. If you would like to book your cruise from here, or any of our other USA river cruises, call our team today or use our online contact form.